Tuesday, Rudy Giuliani announced the line-up of his foreign policy team, addressing a key area of concern of many voters going into November 2008, a brief analysis might lend some insight into Rudy's perspective regarding the challenges ahead and how he would plan to deal with them as President.
Giuliani's campaign has been buffeted by worries that his less conservative views on social issues (abortion, gun control, gay rights) and his own marital history might cost him the support of the more conservative members of the Republican Party. While the early GOP primaries are occurring in delegate-rich states that are perceived to be less "red" than Southern states whose primaries are later, lingering concerns remain that he may not be able to garner enough delegates to win the nomination. His potential has also been muddied by the recent entrance of former Senator Fred Thompson into the race; Thompson has strong support among more conservative members of the GOP.
However, Rudy has had one ace card up his sleeve: the muscular approach toward crime that he displayed with stunning effectiveness during his terms as mayor of New York City, and his strong performance in the wake of 9/11. He was prescient regarding terror: he had Yasser Arafat, the godfather of terrorists, removed from Lincoln Center during a "diplomatic" visit to the United Nations. He did not want his city's function sullied by the presence of a murderer.
Giuliani's adroit choices for his foreign policy team are likely to enhance his popularity among members of the Republican Party. His campaign has announced the lineup (appropriately enough on the day of the All-Star game - because they are certainly stars) and will likely win praise from the right. Many of the foreign policy members come from the Hoover Institution, the esteemed think-tank located in on the campus of Stanford University. This will play well with many of the influential members of the Republican Party base. The Hoover Institution is one of the intellectual centers of conservativism in America. One of the most respected of our former Secretaries of State, George Schultz, who served under Ronald Reagan, has been long affiliated with Hoover.
Charles Hill is a legendary diplomat with experience derived from postings around the world. He has direct Middle Eastern experience - he was political counselor for the US Embassy in Tel Aviv and was director of Israel and Arab-Israeli affairs. He has also taught many members of our foreign policy elite. A biography of him was recently published by one of his students at Yale (The Man on Whom Nothing was Lost); he emerges in this portrait as one whose worldview is based on a "fundamental faith in the righteousness of American power, properly wielded" and a man who looks back fondly at the methods and success of the Reagan-era foreign policies.
Lassoing a foreign policy titan with Reagan-era credentials is a coup for Giuliani.
Norman Podhoretz has long been one of America's leading intellectuals; from his post as editor of Commentary magazine (he is now editor-at-large) he was able to enliven our public discourse and promote a diverse range of ideas that later became commonly accepted wisdom. He has argued for a forthright approach toward Iran and Islamic extremism. Republicans increasingly measure their leaders by this yardstick: will they appease Islamic extremists or defend America from them? Rudy already scores well in this area; Podhoretz will buttress his credibility.
Senator Bob Kasten was known as an outspoken conservative as Senator (1981-1993). His name is widely known and he is widely respected. He is a headliner.
Stephen Rosen is an expert on the military, serving as a professor of national Security and Military Affairs at Harvard University. He has a lengthy list of publications focusing on military affairs (ballistic missile defense, the American theory of limited war, and on the strategic implications of the AIDS epidemic.)
S. Enders Wimbush is also a Senior Fellow at a conservative think-tank: the Hudson Institute. He will be in charge of public diplomacy-an area the critics feel the Bush Administration has not been adequately addressing. Karen Hughes, Bush's czarina for public policy, has been heavily criticized for her faltering performance in the area of public diplomacy. Wimbush appears to have wide experience in this area: he spent 12 years as an expatriate in Europe and has traveled around the world for corporate and government clients. He also served as a director of Radio Liberty in Europe.
Martin Kramer is an Olin Institute Senior Fellow at Harvard. The Olin Institute has been one of the leading foundations promoting conservativism in America. He has vast experience in the Middle East and is an authority in Islam and Arab Politics. He is also the Wexler-Fromer Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and a senior fellow at the Shalem Center. He is a strong supporter of the American-Israel relationship, which will help Rudy solidify support among supporters of Israel (many of whom are evangelical Christians who are influential in the GOP). He has also been a leader in exposing the increasing politicization in the Middle East Studies Departments on American campuses - a politicization that has led professors to teach from an anti-American and anti-Israel viewpoint.
Kim Holmes serves at The Heritage Foundation, a legendary conservative think-tank. Holmes has focuses on homeland security and has done research in areas such as improving border security and government response to disasters. Given the importance of border security, in particular, to conservatives this appointment may play very well under the GOP tent.
Peter Berkowitz is, like Hill, affiliated with the Hoover Institution and also teaches at George Mason University School of La, -both institutions highly regarded in Republican circles. Professors at George Mason School of Law have been pioneers in promoting the view that economics and the law often overlap and the government should consider economic impacts when developing and enforcing the laws. The school has become a nursery for hatching some of the most innovative (and conservative) legal theories in America. Berkowitz has written widely on the subject of conservatism in America; he has also taken up the subject of intelligence and legal issues dealing with terrorism.
Giuliani has been very astute in his choices for his foreign team; they enhance his anti-terrorism and foreign policy credentials. This is his strong suit - many on the right are able to overlook his social and cultural views because he is perceived to be a leader that will protect America. His team reflects a blend of experts across a diverse range of fields - suitable to deal with a complex range of issues:
- a man steeped in traditional diplomacy who has developed a wide range of acolytes (Hill);
- a man who has military expertise and appreciates its use as a potential tool in dealing with threats;
- an intellectual who can foresee the true dimensions of a challenge and develop methods to deal with them (Podhoretz);
- a man well-versed in the ways of Congress, certainly important skills to have when dealing with an increasingly assertive Congress (Kasten);
- a man who is concerned that our schools are not educating our future diplomats and decision-makers with the knowledge they need to have to represent America's interests (Kramer);
- a man who is a specialist in the use of "soft power" to strengthen our image overseas (Wimbush);
- a man whose legal experience can be called upon to draft and enforce the laws needed to protect our nation from terrorists - laws that will survive legal challenges and opposition from those who practice Lawfare to frustrate the exercise of America's rights and responsibilities (Berkowitz).
There are echoes of Reaganism that will resonate with primary voters. Expect this emerging theme to be developed as the campaign proceeds. Furthermore, another, more visible theme runs through his appointments: Rudy will not appease enemies or admit defeat; he will deal with them and will win one for the Gipper.Giuliani seems to have a broad-spectrum approach toward the foreign policy challenges ahead. Tthere will be a need for experts in a wide variety of fields. More importantly for the near-term, he seems to have crafted a team that will make conservatives in the Republican Party confident that his leadership is to be trusted as they pull the lever in November, 2008.
Ed Lasky is news editor of American Thinker